Injuries Provide Opportunities for Oakland Secondary

Before anyone starts the pity party let’s remember we’re talking about paid professionals here. That being said it is bad timing for the injury bug to bite seemingly every member of the Raiders’ secondary except for Stanford Routt and Tyvon Branch.

Michael Huff is still dealing with a concussion issue. Chris Johnson has officially been ruled out. Rookie DeMarcus Van Dyke has been dealing with a knee issue. Not nearly as important but both Matt Girodano and Jermoe Boyd have also suffered “dings”.

But as Hue Jackson says: “next man up”. Just like when the receiving corps was limited in Buffalo Denarius Moore stepped up and stepped into a starting gig.

Who’s going to be the Denarius Moore of the secondary?

If last week is any indication then Chimdi Chekwa should get a shot at defending Tom Brady and the league’s most lethal passing game on Sunday. Chekwa stepped in against the Jets and impressed. He conceded a TD to Plaxico Burress but that was more a result of a great toss by Mark Sanchez and a nice catch by Plax. To be sure Chekwa was in great position but was beaten by a pro throw and a big boy grad.

Such is life in the league, a lesson learned the hard way by all rookies. Van Dyke got a similar baptism in the preseason against All-Galaxy receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

One bit of good news is that Mike Mitchell could be back in action for the first time this year. Mitchell has shown the ability to stick to opposing tight ends, a vital trait against the Pats who use their TEs like most teams target wide receivers.

Of course Mitchell could have more rust than an ’83 El Camino that’s been sitting outside in Seattle for the last 20 years. He’s not yet certain to go Sunday but with all the missing pieces in the secondary he looks likely to at least dress for the game. Whether or not he goes remains to be seen.

There is also the addition by subtraction theory with regards to Johnson.

No disrespect to CJ but he’s been getting toasted like bread in Quizno’s this season. Surely his nagging hamstring is a large part of the problem. But as we’ve come to know all too well Johnson plays like a Magic Mountain ride – up and down.

With the treat of the wide open New England passing attack poised to do damage it is easy to grow concerned before a single snap occurs. As stated previously we’re talking about paid professionals here. Just because on paper it looks like Chekwa couldn’t hold Wes Welker’s jock if had four hands doesn’t mean Chekwa looks at it that way or any other Raider for that matter.

All that matters it what happens on Sunday. Maybe on 1 of every 20 Sunday’s Welker eats the lunch of every Raider like a lunch room bully. But this Sunday could be that one when Welker gets shutdown faster than an underage strip club. All it takes is one great Sunday to turn the tide of an entire season.

The odds are long but so long as they’re giving odds in Vegas it means there’s always a chance. Bet on that!

Tags: Chimdi Chekwa Chris Johnson DeMarcus Van Dyke Denarius Moore Hue Jackson Injuries Jerome Boyd Larry Fitzgerald Mark Sanchez Matt Giordano Michael Huff Michael Mitchell New England Patriots Plaxico Burress Secondary Stanford Routt Tom Brady Tyvon Branch Wes Welker

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